"Wild Strawberries Prescribe Music"

by Eric Harabadian

Career and lifestyle goals can sometimes take alternate twists and turns; just ask the members of Toronto's Wild Strawberries. The Canadian duo, which consists of multi-instrumentalist keyboardist Ken Harrison and wife Roberta Carter Harrison, began their musical odyssey over six years ago.

Their name comes from the Ingmar Bergman film depicting a doctor's overseas journey to receive an award for excellence in medicine. Meanwhile, his personal life is less than perfect. A parallel was drawn by the married musical pair.

"We were both attending university up in Canada studying medicine," says Roberta. "We were also working on songs together, submitting material to a local radio station. We preferred music because it was a lot more fun." So, when Ken and Roberta eventually received their medical degrees, music ultimately ruled out in the end.

In 1989, they independently released the cassette CARVING WOODEN SPECTACLES. They went on to record two more works with moderate success.

In 1995, they were playing a gig in Vancouver, BC, where their current label Nettwerk resides. David Kershaw, Sarah McLachlan's keyboardist, saw them and was quite impressed. He introduced them to Nettwerk and also co-produced their current album.

The CD, HEROINE, is a rich blend of ethereal pop and progressive textures mixed with provocative, reflective lyrics.

"Thematically, our melodies may be lilting, but often there is an underlying darker edge there," explains the singer. "But we tend to want to leave an element of hope. Ken is the principal songwriter. He's into poets like Emily Dickinson, who write with a happy surface but with darker barbs underneath."

At various instances, their music has included elements of sixties pop, Stax-Volt soul, and ambient modern rock.

"Our new stuff is in the demo stage right now," says Roberta. "It will be different from HEROINE. We try not to make the same record again."

Their current tour, which includes Sean Ashby on guitar, Craig McConnell on bass, and Chris LaMont on drums, is primarily playing select dates throughout Canada. Although appearances in the States have been limited thus far, they express a desire to do more in the future.Twin Ferraris Play Locally Again

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